Portal:Book of Mormon

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The Book of Mormon Portal

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The Book of Mormon published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Book of Mormon is one of the sacred texts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, named after the prophet-historian Mormon who, according to the text, compiled most of the book. It was published by the founder of the Church, Joseph Smith, Jr., in March 1830 in Palmyra, New York, USA. Its purpose, as stated on its title page, "is to show the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord has done for their fathers" and to convince "Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself to all nations."

Joseph Smith, Jr. said the book was a translation of Golden Plates. He said that the angel Moroni told him the plates were buried in a hill near his home (which he later called the Hill Cumorah). He said the translation was made through the power of God with aid of the Urim and Thummim, which were with the plates. During the production of the work Smith obtained the affidavits of Three Witnesses and Eight Witnesses who testified they saw and handled the plates. These affidavits are published as part of the Book. When the book was complete, he said he returned the plates to the angel Moroni.

Along with the Bible, which is also held by Latter Day Saints to be the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly, the Book of Mormon is esteemed as part of canon by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Community of Christ, The Church of Jesus Christ and other churches that claim Joseph Smith as their founder. In 1982, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints added the subtitle Another Testament of Jesus Christ to its editions of the book to help clarify and emphasize its purpose. Prior to 1982, some editions of the Book of Mormon had included the subtitle, A Second Testament of Jesus Christ.

Selected article

The Ten Commandments

The Book of Mosiah is one of the books which make up the Book of Mormon. The title refers to Mosiah, a king of the Nephites at Zarahemla. The book covers the time period between ca 130 BC and 91 BC, except for when the book has a flashback into the Record of Zeniff, which starts at ca 200 BC, according to footnotes. Noah is a wicked king. He is one of the more favorite villains among Book of Mormon readers. He collects exorbitant taxes from his people to build a palace and he and his ministers live a life of comfort, ease and self indulgence. His wicked ways lead the whole colony into wickedness. Then along comes a man named Abinadi. He is a holy man, a prophet, and he begins to preach that they must repent. He speaks against King Noah and prophecies that he will be killed if he doesn't repent. Abinadi is arrested and brought before King Noah where he gives what is considered a very important discourse in the Book of Mormon (chapters 12-16). Abinadi asks the ministers what they preach and they respond that they preach the Law of Moses. Abinadi then tells them that they ought to teach the Law of Moses, but rebukes them for not obeying it themselves, including the Ten Commandments, which he quotes to them. Abinadi then continues to explain that the Law of Moses is a teaching method to prepare people for the coming of Jesus Christ.

Selected history

Photograph of what is believed to be the 1830 document known as the "Anthon Transcript"

The Book of Mormon, a work of scripture of the Latter Day Saint movement, describes itself as having originally been written in reformed Egyptian characters on plates of metal or "ore" by prophets living in the Western Hemisphere from perhaps as early as 2600 BC until as late as AD 421. Joseph Smith, Jr., the movement's founder, published the Book of Mormon in 1830 as a translation of these golden plates. Scholarly reference works on languages do not, however, acknowledge the existence of either a "reformed Egyptian" language or "reformed Egyptian" script as it has been described in Mormon belief. No archaeological, linguistic, or other evidence of the use of Egyptian writing in ancient America has been discovered. On their website, Bad Archaeology, two British archaeologists, Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews and Dames Doeser, say "The only writing systems to have been recognised in the Americas are those used by the Maya and the Aztecs, neither of which resembles Egyptian hieroglyphs, although Joseph Smith, the founder of the religion, produced a scrap of papyrus containing hieroglyphs he claimed to be a Reformed Egyptian text written by the Patriarch Abraham."

Selected Location

Map showing the possible Lands and Sites of the Book of Mormon

According to the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or "Mormons", Zarahemla (/zɛr.əˈhɛm.lə/) refers to a large city in the ancient Americas which is described in the Book of Mormon. It also is used to refer to a large political division, and a minor character in the book. The Book of Mormon is revered by members of various Latter Day Saint churches as sacred scripture. Non-Mormon archaeologists and historians do not consider Zarahemla to be an actual place that existed in ancient America and dismiss the historical claims of the Book of Mormon. (See Archaeology and the Book of Mormon for more detail about the archaeological debate between Mormons and mainstream archaeologists). Some Mormons speculate that the name “Zarahemla” is a compound Biblical Hebrew name זֶרַע חֶמְלָה Zéraʻ Ḥemlah meaning "seed of compassion". Others interpret the name differently.

Related portals

Selected biography

Moroni, son of Mormon

Mormon is the prophet in The Book of Mormon after whom the book is named. According to the Introduction and the account of Joseph Smith, Jr., Mormon was the prophet-historian who engraved the book on Golden Plates. Latter Day Saints believe Mormon was a Nephite prophet who lived in the Americas during the 4th century AD.

The Book of Mormon reports that Mormon was instructed by the prophet Ammaron where to find the records that had been passed down from their ancestors. It also claims that Mormon later abridged the near-millennium-long history of his ancestors, a more ancient people, and additional revelations into the Book of Mormon. The divisions of Mormon attributed to the prophet are the Words of Mormon and the first seven chapters of the larger book. Mormon eventually passed all of the records on to his son Moroni.

Selected Quotes

The Book of Jacob Chapter 5

Jacob quotes Zenos relative to the allegory of the tame and wild olive trees—They are a likeness of Israel and the Gentiles—The scattering and gathering of Israel are prefigured—Allusions are made to the Nephites and Lamanites and all the house of Israel—The Gentiles will be grafted into Israel—Eventually the vineyard will be burned.

1 Behold, my brethren, do ye not remember to have read the words of the prophet Zenos, which he spake unto the house of Israel, saying:

2 Hearken, O ye house of Israel, and hear the words of me, a prophet of the Lord.

3 For behold, thus saith the Lord, I will liken thee, O house of Israel, like unto a tame olive tree, which a man took and nourished in his vineyard; and it grew, and waxed old, and began to decay.

4 And it came to pass that the master of the vineyard went forth, and he saw that his olive tree began to decay; and he said: I will prune it, and dig about it, and nourish it, that perhaps it may shoot forth young and tender branches, and it perish not.

5 And it came to pass that he pruned it, and digged about it, and nourished it according to his word.

6 And it came to pass that after many days it began to put forth somewhat a little, young and tender branches; but behold, the main top thereof began to perish.

7 And it came to pass that the master of the vineyard saw it, and he said unto his servant: It grieveth me that I should lose this tree; wherefore, go and pluck the branches from a wild olive tree, and bring them hither unto me; and we will pluck off those main branches which are beginning to wither away, and we will cast them into the fire that they may be burned.

8 And behold, saith the Lord of the vineyard, I take away many of these young and tender branches, and I will graft them whithersoever I will; and it mattereth not that if it so be that the root of this tree will perish, I may preserve the fruit thereof unto myself; wherefore, I will take these young and tender branches, and I will graft them whithersoever I will.


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